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10 Recent, Non-Annoying Pop Songs for When You Need the Energy of a Teenager

Here are some of my favorites for running around the neighborhood with the Siberian Husky. Which ones do you like?

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

May 17, 2014 - 11:00 am
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1. “Right Actions” by Franz Ferdinand

This week at PJ Lifestyle for the daily pop culture debates we started a conversation about music. I sympathized with these sentiments from Don in New Hampshire:

In part my loss of interest in much that is called “pop” came from overexposure and, I suppose, disappointed hopes.

I’d done some interesting work, even post Abstracts, including writing and recording for motion pictures. But even at the time, entering my twenties, so much pop music seemed shallow. In its stead I focused on two things:  A return to my early love of classical music, particularly the symphonies of Beethoven and the keyboard works of Bach — these to satisfy the mind — and a turning towards roots music, be it in the form of Delta blues or the more modern Chicago variety — these to satisfy the spirit.

To this day most “pop” music strikes me as very teenagy. So much so that I have trouble understanding how any adult can find it of interest.

Of late I have again started to listen to music once classified as “pop,” but it is from the days when such music was aimed, not a teenagers, but at adults. Music of the Gershwins, for instance, and that of Cole Porter.

And this is, I think, the difference. Today everything in the “arts” seems to be aimed at children.

I was never a huge bubblegum pop music consumer — my tastes ran more toward the “despite all my rage/I’m still just a rat in a cage” Smashing Pumpkins school of adolescent angst. But I do think there is a place for upbeat, fun, simpleminded music: when exercising. I’ve come to appreciate Bach, Mozart, and innovative jazz in recent years but I don’t think it was ever meant to accompany running.

These are some of the tracks that are in my regular rotation for when Maura and I do our morning runs at sunrise. (Note: I make a point to turn the music off at 6:07 when The Morning Answer starts on AM 870 here in Los Angeles. Listening to Ben Shapiro and Elisha Krauss fighting against the inane, narcissistic arguments of their so-called liberal co-host Brian Whitman is also good for inspiring the energy of a teenager first thing in the morning…)

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All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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How about "Wagon Wheel" as performed by Darius Rucker? I know the origins go back a ways, but his performance is pretty fresh and lively.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not strictly pop- but if you wanna get pumped try "Drink Drank Drunk" by Cowboy Troy. You will hate it at first- listen about 10 times and you will love it and never get it out of your head.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can't get into it. Trying to put my finger on it and I think the common denominator is they all seem to treat the musical instruments like filler, as if they're doing the bare minimum to get by and present a song, rather than having some authoritative ideas of how to present those instruments and arrangements.

If you listen to even a fairly average old song like Burn Down the Mission by Elton John, that's some pretty powerful bass, drums and piano played at a very high level of artistry and technique.

That's what has always grabbed me about music. I hate that hired band sound and thrown off arrangements. I think that's what happens when you can't afford a lot of studio time with good engineers and producers.

I've read that even bigger old acts like, say, Stevie Nicks, now have a couple of weeks to do an album they used to take months to jam, write, and perfect. There's no time for loving care, or maybe even an idea of what that would be in the first place. That's my take on it. There's no there there.

There's no sense of listening to something special, but instead an awful album I might make myself.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've liked some Franz Ferdinand music, and that wasn't bad. Maybe in a similar vein: Kaiser Chiefs. Their albums have been hit and miss - some great tunes with a few too many fillers to justify buying whole albums. The Wombats, too.

I think I'd like to hear more of Harlem Shakes, Dresses, and maybe Ivy Levan.

But when I look for this kind of music I tend to give up and retreat back to Sloan and other (mostly) Canadian (guitar and power) pop bands. For some catchy teenage angst, there's nothing like Plumtree.

Oh. I'm Alright by Agent Ribbons on Chateau Crone (2010) and Catamaran by Allah-Las on their self-titled album (2012) were good recent additions to the genre. Or maybe that isn't pop. I don't know.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
No Karen O, no Gorrilaz? Hmm...
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are one of my favorites but the "recent" qualifier kept them off the list. Their last album I know well was "It's Blitz!" from 2009. I haven't heard their new album "Mosquito" from last year yet. Kicking myself for missing it. Guess I'll have to go check it out.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, these really aren't that great. The first one--Franz Ferdinand--was ok, it sounds like The Talking Heads, but in the end I'd rather listen to the real thing. The Talking Heads were a fantastic band, would love to see them get back together, but that probably won't happen.

When I need teenage energy I listen to thrash. The classic Venom, Death Angel, and Exodus albums really do it for me.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Death Angel - right on!

I grew up in Concord and my sis was friends with Death Angel in the late-80's.

STILL a great live band.

I too dig most NWOBHM bands.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, Dream Calls For Blood was a killer album!
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep, totally.

The saving grace for MANY acts like Death Angel and like-minded bands is their playing the Central-So Cal pubs every week-end.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was having a nice quiet afternoon until my upstairs neighbors started playing rap. I loathe rap and could only endure a few minutes before putting on some great music: John Coltrane's Giant Steps album. Just as that came to an end, I pulled up this article and decided to listen to the tunes on it. I have almost no contact with pop music any more, having given up it as being hopelessly insipid by the mid-90s, so I had a vague hope that maybe you would expose me to some unfamiliar people that would restore my affection for pop.

Imagine my disappointment when I got error messages "An error occurred, please try again later" when starting EVERY song. (After a couple of minutes of dead silence, the audio finally starts and plays okay but I'm not seeing any of the video.) ... Interesting: I just tried playing the videos in Chrome instead of Firefox and everything plays fine there: the songs start immediately and I get both audio and video.

Unfortunately, I heard only two songs that made me want to hear more by that artist; for the others, I didn't even want to hear that song again. I listened with an open mind but most of this music just doesn't do it for me. It must be an age thing; I'm probably twice your age. I was going to write a list of songs I like but most of them are 30+ years old and are probably contrary to the spirit of what you had in mind since they aren't current pop songs, so I won't bother....
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
How recent? For me, anything written after 1980 is recent. But here's one... Quite by accident, I heard a tune that I kinda liked...

The Editors... "The End Has a Start".

It's like the lead singer is channeling Jim Morrison.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you want to hear someone that sounds like Jim Morrison, I invite you to try a band called The Tea Party. (Despite the fact that this is a conservative web site, the band called The Tea Party has nothing to do with politics; they are a Canadian band that formed in the early 90s, long before the political movement started here.) In fact, these guys feel like a merger of The Doors and Led Zeppelin with the lead singer/guitarist fulfilling the roles of both Jim Morrison and Jimmy Page. But maybe that's just me. Here's their first big hit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuKwRLJUrEY

The singer, Jeff Martin, even RESEMBLES Jim Morrison quite strongly, at least in my opinion. (And no, his guitar playing is not that close to Jimmy Page's but you'll see from the video that he bows his guitar on occasion and if you listen to more of their music, you'll see that it's got a lot of diverse influences in it, not just your standard blues or whatever. That's what reminds me of the later Led Zeppelin albums).
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now, that's basically your better-than-average stuff. Some of their mannerisms might take some getting used to (for me), but I like it.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
And here's a link to the first Tea Party album, Splendor Solis:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh0C3e0He2k&list=PL30E7BCD38E9EDEAE&index=1
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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